James Drew - great grandfather of Carol McGlasson - photographed in America - picking apples.Solving a mystery ... James Edmund Drew - b. 1825

It was stated (May/June 2002) to David Ward by Carol McGlasson in America that she has a great grandfather, James DREW who was the son of James Edmund Drew - b.1825 in Radnor. So, who was the James Drew who married Sarah Nias? This news precipitated a series of researches - now resolving in a general agreement that the lines are linked by cousins of the same name and same birth year - both lines descended from John Drew and Keziah Beaumont.

James DREW - b. Cefnllys, Radnor - 1851 - the great grandson of John Drew and Keziah Beaumont, grandson of Thomas Drew and Margaret Sheen and son of James Edmund Drew and Jane Probert.
James Drew was born at Trawsdir, Cefynllys in Radnorshire. He was the son of James Edmund Drew born at Cefnllys, Radnorshire in 1825 and his young wife, Jane Probert who was born in 1835. He was the great grandfather of Carol (Drew) McGlasson in America.

James Edmund Drew (sometimes spelt Edmond), was baptised at the church in Cefnllys in April 1825. His father's occupation was "gentleman", and his abode then was Trawsdir, Cefnllys. His parents were Thomas Drew and Margaret Sheen, of Nantdu, Cefnllys, who were married in 1817, at Glascwm, in Radnorshire.

He married Jane Probert - who was not yet 16 - on the 24th August 1850 in the Parish Church of Llandegley, 'according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Church of England'. On the marriage certificate his age was listed as "of full age". He was a bachelor and his occupation was farmer. His residence at the time of marriage was Nanty [Nantdu] in the Parish of Cefallys [Cefynllys]. His father's occupation was farmer.

Jane Probert
For Jane Probert, the following information was found on the marriage certificate: Her age was listed as "minor" and she was a "spinster". Her residence at the time of marriage was Faldey [Ffaldau] and her father's name was John Probert. John Probert and James Davies were the witnesses listed and John Jones was the Vicar. From the marriage certificate it can be seen that Jane's father was a farmer from Ffaldau, Llandegley.

James Edmund Drew, Jane and their son, James Drew, migrated to America in 1854 (the year his father, Thomas Drew, died) when James was only three years old. They settled first at Alton, Illinois, later moving to a farm near Brighton, in Madison County. There was one other son born to the marriage - John Drew - but he died as an infant in August 1854 at Brighton, Illinois. Jane (Probert) Drew died a short time after, in March 1855.

In April 1856, James Edmund Drew married Eliza Betty Challacombe. She had been born in England in 1829. Her parents were Thomas and Jane Challacombe who were also born in England. This latter information comes from the Rootsweb.com website where it shows her birth year as 1828, but on her headstone in Irving it shows the year 1829.

When James (Probert) Drew was twelve years old the family moved to a farm east of Irving, Illinois. They kept a family bible - and this has assisted Carol McGlasson in piecing together many of the elements of this family history. Carol writes, "I do have a copy of a Naturalization paper for James Edmund. He became a citizen of the United States in 10-15-1866." She states that there were eight children born of the second marriage.

Mary Elizabeth Drew. She was born 1-19-1857 in Brighton, Il and she died 9-17-1857. Alathea (Drew) Mowery born 4-8-1858 in Brighton, Il. She married A. E. Mowery 12-21-1883 in Irving,Il. They had one son Clarence Mowery who died 7-13-1888. Alathea died 5-28-1888. Thomas Vincent Drew was born 1-5-1861 in Brighton, Il. He married Nina Kate Rhinehart 11-25-1888 in Irving,Il. He died 4-13-1892 in Merced, California and Nina died 3-30-1890. Arabelle Walker (Drew) Neisler was born 7-25-1862 in Brighton, Il. She married Isaac Neisler 2-14-1881 in Irving, Il. Belle and Isaac had eight children. She died 4-5-1932
Edmund Rolling Drew was born 10-14-1863 in Brighton, Il and he died 4-1-1886. William Joseph Drew was born 7-16-1866 in Irving, Il and he died 3-19-1896. Jeannette Meredith Drew was born 11-15-1868 in Irving, Il. She died 3-19-1896. Laura Mable Drew was born 11-2-1872 in Irving, Il. She died 12-6-1879.

Carol confirms that there were no spouses listed for Edmund, William, and Jeannette ... "so they probably never married. Most of James Edmund's children died pretty young, except for James Drew (mother Jane Probert) and Belle (Arabelle Walker Drew) Neisler."

James Edmund Drew died on March 15th, 1893 and was buried beside Jane Probert in the Irving Cemetery. Eliza Betty (Drew) Challacombe died 1-12-1915. In 1877, James (Probert) Drew had married Mary Frances File (b. 1855) and they had four sons - Robert Drew, Jesse Drew, Frank Drew and George Drew (who was Carol 's grandfather) and one daughter, Susan Drew.

Jesse Lee Drew born: 12-5-1877 died: 3-5-1960 married: 11-20-1901 to Naomi G. Sturgeon, born in the year 1882, died 5-1-1953. No children. Robert Corwin Drew born: 11-23-1881 died: 12-12-1947 married: 1st wife Lillian Hammond, died 9-26-1962 (no marriage or birthdate or date of death). No children. 2nd wife Ruth Powis (no marriage date or birthdate or date of death). No children Walter Francis Drew born: 3-6-1884 died: 4-8-1960 married: Susan Carriker (no marriage date), born 10-8-1886, died 5-28-1955. They had one son Clifford Drew (no date)
George Edmund Drew born: 10-24-1879 died: 3-2-1963 married: 10-24-1907 to Bernice Susan Grantham born 6-1-1884, died 9-25-1959. Children Leola (Drew) Eccardt born: 8-8-1908, still living, Norman Edmond Drew born: 5-11-1912, died 11-15-1995

George Edmund Drew and Bernice Susan Grantham were the grandparents of Carol (Drew) McGlasson and Norman Edmond Drew was her father.

All the children of James and Mary (File) Drew were born, resided and died in - or around - Irving, Illinois.

Susan May (Drew) Neisler born: 4-26-1887 died: 12-15-1980 married: 8-26-1909 to Harvey Milton Neisler, born 2-26-1888, died 3-11-1968. No children.

James remained on the farm until he retired at which time he and his wife, Mary, moved to the small town of Irving itself. The above picture shows James (Probert) Drew at work in the orchard of the farm. James died on September 15th, 1939 and Mary, his wife, on July 4th, 1950.

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